Advice from an astronaut

For anyone who wants to grow up and be an astronaut …. here’s a lovely video with advice from ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano.

What’s in wildfire smoke and why it’s so bad for your lungs

The health impact of wildfire exposure depends in part on the fire itself and how much smoke a person breathes in, how often and for how long.

Illustration of Perseverance rover in space on Seotember 12, 2020.

Follow the Perseverance rover in real time on its way to Mars

Keep track of where NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance is on its journey through space toward its February 18, 2021, landing on Mars. This web app shows you where spacecraft is right now.

‘Apocalyptic’ skies across U.S. West this week

Video and images of the weirdly orange skies across the U.S. West this week, created by massive wildfires that incinerated several communities in Oregon in the past 2 days and blotted out the sun in San Francisco.

Artwork showing Earth from space, the Gaia spacecraft, and a radio telescope listening for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

A breakthrough in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

The researchers called their new analytical technique “a milestone in SETI.” One researcher commented: “We now know that fewer than one in 1,600 stars closer than about 330 light years host transmitters just a few times more powerful than the strongest radar we have here on Earth.”

Astronomers issue report on the effect of ‘satellite constellations’ on astronomy

A new report concludes that large constellations of bright satellites in low-Earth orbit will fundamentally change ground-based astronomy and impact the appearance of the night sky for stargazers worldwide.

NASA’s guide to near light speed space travel

Take a couple of minutes and have a little fun with this new video from NASA

Pesticides and industrial pollutants found in snow atop Arctic glaciers

The long journey of these compounds – likely originating in the U.S. and Eurasia – shows the far-reaching impacts of industrial pollution.

The curve of Earth in space, against a dark background, with the Hayabusa2 spacecraft above it and a purple streak headed to Earth's surface.

Hayabusa2 re-entry capsule approved to land in Australia

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said this week that it has now been officially informed that its Hayabusa2 space capsule – carrying precious dust captured from the surface of near-Earth asteroid Ryugu – is approved for landing in Australia.

2019 State of the Climate Report: Peak greenhouse gases and record heat

2019 ranks among the 3 warmest years in records dating to the mid-1800s. In 2019, greenhouse gases reached their highest levels on record. Both facts are from the 30th annual State of the Climate report, a review of world climate based on contributions from more than 520 scientists in over 60 countries.

Picture of damage to Arecibo Telescope in August, 2020.

Arecibo Observatory damaged by broken lashing cable

The new damage to Arecibo, caused by the heavy cable, happened while repairs from 2017’s Hurricane Maria were still ongoing.

Nose of a German shepherd.

These dogs are trained to sniff out the coronavirus

Scientists have been working with professional trainers in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales to train dogs to sniff out Covid-19. Most of the dogs have a 100% success rate.

Mars big as the moon on August 27?

We can’t believe it. One of the most popular articles at EarthSky this week is the one asking, will Mars be as big as the moon on August 27? Short answer … no. This hoax has been circulating since 2003.

Perseverance rover parachute test, seen from below.

Mars landings: ‘7 minutes of terror’

To celebrate the 8-year anniversary of Curiosity rover’s arrival on Mars, here’s a video on the final 7 minutes of its chilling descent on August 5-6, 2012.

Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.

Blue balls with spikes.

Does coronavirus linger in the body?

Some viruses can hide out in the body and reemerge at later times. Which viruses do this, and can the new coronavirus do this too?

Successful splashdown for SpaceX Crew Dragon in Gulf of Mexico

The SpaceX Crew Dragon splashdown into the Gulf of Mexico today was the first splashdown in 45 years.

What’s the August birthstone?

Happy birthday, August babies! Your month has 2 birthstones, peridot and sardonyx.

Spacecraft launch.

Blast off! Perseverance, newest Mars rover, launched as planned

It was a picture-perfect launch this morning for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, with good weather and no major hitches. The rover lifted off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Orbital view of Gulf Coast from Texas to Mississippi with bar graph at bottom.

Gulf of Mexico dead zone: Summer 2020 forecast

NOAA scientists forecast that this summer’s dead zone would measure roughly 6,700 square miles – bigger than the long-term average recorded since 1985, but lower than 2017’s record-high extent.